Past Meetup

Surviving AI: The promise and peril of artificial intelligence

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Artificial intelligence is our most powerful technology, and in the coming decades it will change everything in our lives. If we get it right it will make humans almost godlike. If we get it wrong... well, extinction is not the worst possible outcome.

This event features author Calum Chace, sharing insights from his recently published book "Surviving AI", and taking part in a conversation with the audience.

AI is likely to change the landscape of almost every business in the years ahead. Entrepreneurs and technologists alike will find much food for thought in this event.

Attendance is free of charge, but registration in advance is required. Please RSVP.

A limited number of copies of the book "Surviving AI" will be available for purchase at a discounted price at the event.


6.15pm: Doors open, for informal networking
6.30pm: Welcome from Kenneth Cukier, Data Editor at The Economist
6.45pm: Surviving AI, by Calum Chace
7.15pm: Calum is interviewed by Kenneth Cukier
7.45pm: Audience Q&A
8.30pm: Event ends

Doors will close at 9pm.

Some endorsements for "Surviving AI":

A sober and easy-to-read review of the risks and opportunities that humanity will face from AI.
-- Jaan Tallinn, co-founder Skype; co-founder CSER and FLI

Understanding AI – its promise and its dangers – is emerging as one of the great challenges of coming decades and this is an invaluable guide to anyone who’s interested, confused, excited or scared.
-- David Shukman, BBC Science Editor

As artificial intelligence drives the pace of automation ever faster, it is timely that we consider in detail how it might eventually make an even more profound change to our lives – how truly general AI might vastly exceed our capabilities in all areas of endeavour. The opportunities and challenges of this scenario are daunting for humanity to contemplate, let alone to manage in our best interests.

We have recently seen a surge in the volume of scholarly analysis of this topic; Chace impressively augments that with this high-quality, more general-audience discussion.

--Aubrey de Grey – CSO, SENS Research Foundation, and former AI researcher

Calum Chace provides a clear, simple, stimulating summary of the key positions and ideas regarding the future of Artificial General Intelligence and its potential risks. For the newcomer who’s after a non-technical, even-handed intro to the various perspectives being bandied about regarding these very controversial issues, Chace’s book provides a great starting-point into the literature.

It’s rare to see a book about the potential End of the World that is fun to read without descending into sensationalism or crass oversimplification.

-- Ben Goertzel – Chairman, Novamente LLC

Calum Chace is a prescient messenger of the risks and rewards of artificial intelligence. In “Surviving AI” he has identified the most essential issues and developed them with insight and wit – so that the very framing of the questions aids our search for answers.

Chace’s sensible balance between AI’s promise and peril makes “Surviving AI” an excellent primer for anyone interested in what’s happening, how we got here, and where we are headed.

-- Kenneth Cukier, co-author of “Big Data: A Revolution that Transforms How We Work, Live and Think”

“Surviving AI” is well written, presenting pretty much all the basic facts and information without excessive speculation.
-- Randal Koene, founder,

“Surviving AI” is an extremely clear, even-handed and up-to-date introduction to the debate on artificial intelligence and what it will mean for the future of humanity.
-- Dan Goodman, Lecturer, Intelligent Systems and Networks Group, Imperial College

A good overview of a lot of the issues surrounding potentially super-powered AI.
-- Dr Stuart Armstrong, Future of Humanity Institute

Calum Chace strikes a note of clarity and balance in the important and often divisive dialogue around the benefits and potential dangers of artificial intelligence. It’s a debate we need to have, and Calum is an accessible and helpful guide.
-- Ben Medlock – cofounder, Swiftkey

See more endorsements here (

About Calum Chace:

Calum Chace has had a 30-year career in business, and is a writer and futurist. He also chairs and consults to entrepreneurial businesses.

He was the co-author, in 2000, of "The Internet Start-up Bible" (

He is also the author of "Pandora's Brain" (, a novel that uses the issues raised by the coming machine intelligence explosion as a platform for a fast-paced thought-provoking techno-thriller.

About Kenneth Cukier:

Kenneth Cukier is the data editor of the Economist, following a decade at the paper covering business and technology, and as a foreign correspondent (most recently in Japan from[masked]).

Previously Kenneth was the technology editor of the Wall Street Journal Asia in Hong Kong and worked at the International Herald Tribune in Paris. In[masked] he was a research fellow at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government. He is the co-author of Big Data: A Revolution that Will Transform How We Work, Live and Think (2013) and Learning with Big Data: The Future of Education (2014) with Viktor Mayer-Schönberger.

Campus London:

This event is kindly sponsored by Campus London, Google's space for entrepreneurs (